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A Brief History of Drink Drive Laws

We think of drink driving laws as solely in the modern day and age with large metal, fast-moving vehicles trying to avoid collisions.  However, drinking and driving has been an issue ever since there was any mobile form of transportation.  In the mid nineteenth century, when people traveled with carriage, horse, steam engine, or even cattle, drinking and traveling was still a problem  In 1872, the UK passed its first law on the matter-- that if found driving a carriage or riding a horse, etc. while under the influence, one had to pay a fine and suffer imprisonment for a month.


When mechanical vehicles started bumbling about, a new law was created to apply to drinking and driving.  This was 1925.  While this law move moved applicability from steam engines and carriages to mechanical vehicles, it didn’t specify any kind of “legal limit” or offer various gradations of consequence for varying levels of intoxication (nor were those levels really tested).  Thus, only drivers who were quite obviously intoxicated fell privy to the manifestations of this early twentieth century rendition of the law.  In 1962, the first analytical test to determine the amount of alcohol in bodily fluids was invented, but the law still did not define a legal limit, lending the test only to an officer’s subjectivity rather than the measurement of objective numbers.


Instead of drinking and driving laws existing as a precautionary, they had to become more defined and precise because so many deaths were occurring due to the issue.  As more cars frequented the road, more accidents happened due to people driving after drinking, and in 1962, the law caught up further.  Since then, there has been a definite legal limit and many different categories of offenses with respective penalties.  These categories offer gradations of severity, and a solicitor is useful to any of them.

27/08/2015 10:14